Posted on September 22, 2014
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I have had some ugly flight delays recently. I got some practice complaining. I always say I don’t mind traveling by air, it’s sitting in airports I don’t like. Well–some airplane seats aren’t so good either.

But there is another side to the story.

Some airplanes look beautiful, if you look up from your phone.

And then, up in the air, flying west and south – the sunset slows down and spreads out. Smoke reaches in long billows up from fields being burned off. The Mississippi River winds below in coiled loops, a giant serpent. Spindly lines fret along the river, trying to keep her forever in the same sprawl. But the wide prairie spreads in either direction, and there is nothing to stop the river.

Sometimes, up in a plane, you see a mystery revealed. It is not a thing unknowable by men, but it is a thing hard to see that in ages past men might spend many years in the learning. Sometimes from that great height you can see it–borne up on the labor of other man’s hands, lifted by the thought of other men’s minds, looking down at other men’s lives. Oh the mighty Mississippi, she is not tamed by our thin rules.


I have never yet seen a beautiful flight delay. Maybe someday. It’s a big world.

Masquerading as People

Posted on February 22, 2012
Filed Under Journeyman Chronicles, Today | 4 Comments

My  boss’s boss, David, pulled me in the office today. “Spend some money,” he said. “Buy some clothes.”

I had caught signals before that he wished I were a spiffy dresser, but I thought I had compensated enough. Evidently not. When I related this advice to my family, the menfolk were outraged. One brother hoped I flipped him the bird and quit my job. My father suggested that he would have told him to find some other country bumpkin to sycophantically comply with his fashion obsession.

Neither of those reactions even crossed my mind. To them the suggestion was a moral offense, somewhere just past lying on the way toward prostitution. Such niceties could only matter to worthless sorts of people. I am not sure whether they have not noticed that the female (minority) population right here in town notices and appreciates attire, or if that simply serves to reinforce the degraded nature of such concerns. I easily understand that such things do not matter to my nearest male relations, but I struggle to grasp why it is so offensive that it would matter to anyone else. Who cares if it matters?

My own biggest concern is that I learn to care myself. It is one thing to wear clothes to satisfy people around you; it is something else to look down on other people because of the clothes they wear. I don’t know how well I can maintain that distinction.

A Relaxing Week End

Posted on February 5, 2012
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Today I went on an Epic Trundle. It lasted three hours and went off road and got me a blister. Walking is supposed to help move your bowels and mind went miles and miles. Not only that but I tried every other negotiating tactic ordinarily supplied to civilians. As a result I can now announce a stalemate.

I got something for my efforts, yes. But it didn’t take the shape I was looking for. I have demonstrated that my bowels are not completely obstructed, but I haven’t settled whether they are partially obstructed. Now if, after all my efforts, I got nothing, I was prepared to make a convincing case to medical professionals that I needed some kind of help. But I don’t have acute pain and I don’t really know exactly how long it’s been since I’ve been normal (anywhere from four days to in excess of a week) and I don’t really know what my output to input deficit is.

Ordinarily I’d say, “Okay, you can move something, that’s good; maybe the whole problem cleared up without you noticing. Go back to normal and see what comes of it.” But Tuesday I am supposed to get on a plane. Yeah. Airplanes and laxatives. Sounds like a good time. And then after that I’m supposed to walk around a convention center for a day. And then drive for hours to visit an aunt and uncle. All in all a swell week to experiment with laxatives and possible acute intestinal distress, depending on how things go.

Great and Terrible Will Be The Day of the Load

Posted on February 3, 2012
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Yesterday my sister told me I was full of it. She was right. I’ve been blessed by a prophetic word from my sister, and I am full of it!

Me and my gastronomy don’t talk much. We do infrequent business. It takes a couple of days for me to get around to sitting down for a long discussion, and even then if it’s not convenient I’ll put it off another day or so. But I’m quite serious when I get down to it; in fact the product of these interviews has been compared to bricks, submarines, and other sturdy materials.

Now, me and my gastronomy, we don’t talk much, but we’re on good terms generally. I listened with concern when the gastronomy started grumbling and complaining. I expected a torrent of complaint to follow. But for all the grumbling, the gastronomy never came up with much. The oddity of it prompted me to remark, in that familial way, to my sister, who kindly informed me that I was full of it. Apparently my gastronomy is suffering from repressed feedings.

I took some fiber yesterday, and I have tried to drink plenty and eat high-fiber foods. I know these things can take time, but I am disappointed by the results so far. Although the issues presented by my gastronomy are increasingly transparent, there isn’t much substance to them, and I believe the bulk of the matter is yet to come. It may take more forceful intervention to achieve resolution.

I wish it were over and done with.

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